Agoraphobia & Panic Attacks
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
I have been doing alot of soul searching lately. Thinking about so many things going on with me and how I am feeling.
I wanted to walk down to the store the other day. I made a plan to do it and felt good &; confident about it. But that morning came, I woke up and everything fell apart.... I freaked out and panicked. My mind flooded with excuses...the weather was bad, it was cold & snowy and super windy. I worried about money & if I would spend too much. I worried about my DH & if he would get mad at me spending money. I worried that I haven't walked in a while and would be way out of breath and feel like crap etc...
But I KNEW that they were all just excuses. None of them were anything that could or should have stopped me. I knew i was just feeling unsure & scared and so I let it overpower me and I gave in to those feelings and gave up. But why???
I was looking online and found this agoraphobia online support group & there I also found this website:
It really gave me alot to think about in terms of seeing how I feel this way.
"Panic is perhaps the most intense and the most challenging of all human emotions. What is panic, and how can we best understand it?
Panic comes from the "fight-or-flight" response that all of us have and that has been key to our survival as a species. In prehistoric times, when a saber-toothed tiger or neighboring cannibal tribe wanted to have us for dinner, the fight-or-flight response kicked in. Instantly, we would have superhuman strength and speed, to either fight or flee."
It explained it like how we can imagine a fire alarm going off. And its loud & scary. Everytime it goes off it signals that there is fire and a danger. So it triggers all these feelings of panic, fear, danger.
Ofcourse there is no fire, no real danger or anything to fear. But for people who have panic attacks it is still so very real. Those same internal feelings that are saying there is a giant tiger about to eat you or your house is on fire = RUN! Are turned on even when they are not really there or any reason or cause.
And on top of that alarm going off, since there is no real outside dangerit spirals out as we search for it and causes the panic attack and fearing the panic attack or thoughts that we are going crazy or going to die. I will often think omg I can't breathe even though I am.
"Panic attacks are an amazing paradox. For millions, they are the most terrifying, traumatic and painful experiences in their lives. And yet, they are completely harmless. "
I think that is part of it that makes it so hard to have others understand. Because a normal person would be like yes the fire alarm is going off and annoying but there is no fire, everything is fine. But for me even if I can rationally know that, I am still feeling scared and panicked. I think most people can understand that when you are scared it is hard to be rational. Like so many people are scared of spiders, it is not going to hurt you but they are not going to let a huge ugly spider crawl up their arm lol.
Panic attack symptoms:
Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
Sense of terror, or impending doom or death
Feeling sweaty or having chills
Feeling a loss of control
I saw this youtube video that is not me, just one I found. The girl in it though is so right on with exactly how I feel during a panic attack. if I had to describe it, would be just like this:
I think one thing from that site though that I really loved and actually made me cry when I read it was this:
"Panic is a fascinating and very odd emotion. But remember, the fight-or-flight response resides in a very old part of the human brain. Prehistoric times were very, uhh, colorful. Without our survival response, we wouldn't be here today. And in giving us the gift of our fight-or-flight response, our Creator was more concerned with ensuring our protection than with avoiding false alarms.
The most sensitive among us are the ones who get to experience the false alarms. We can feel victimized, or we can use the experience to learn and grow in some extraordinary ways.
We are members of a very select group. We have repeatedly faced the most intense experience of fear that the human organism is capable of. Anyone who does this has tremendous courage.
You may not have “signed up” to become one of the most courageous people on the planet, but this is exactly what you are doing by reading these words right now, and by taking steps, day by day, for your recovery."
I just want to read those words every single day. So often I feel weak and like a scared little girl. But how beautiful to think of it as being strong because everyday I have to deal with fear and still go on.
The site also talks alot about Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Which is very goal orientated and about taking small steps to learn how to deal with your anxiety. I know I really need to see a therapist and deal with this and I need to fix my insurance to do that. I keep saying I am going to talk to my husband about it and haven't yet because I chicken out or think its not a good time.... I just have to do it.
It is so hard & so scary but I know I need help and I know I want to get better.